La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins: Could Jim Thome call Target Field his home one more time?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 25, 2013 - 3:24 PM


Free agent and future Hall of Fame slugger Jim Thome, whose 612 homers are seventh on the all-time list, is looking for a job. Could the Twins be an option?

The Twins had a conversation with Thome's camp about a month ago, according to a person with knowledge of discussions. While there hasn't been recent contact, the sides could pick up where they left off.

Thome, 42, played 179 games with the Twins from the start of the 2010 season through August of 2011, batting .266 with 37 homers and 99 RBI and enjoying his time with the club before he was traded to Cleveland.

He's working out in Arizona, hoping to get another chance. He told foxsports.com last week that he was serious about about continuing his career.

``My plan is to kind of stay in shape and see what happens,” Thome said. ``If a team calls for me, mentally, I want to know I’m ready to go.”

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said last week that he would like some thump off the bench. Thome could provide that as a pinch hitter and occasional starter at designated hitter.

``I know we want a little more something off the bench instead of two utility guys and a backup catcher.'' Gardenhire said. ``I’m going to have a better bench and have a little more weapons. So we’re going to do that. whatever that entails, that’s what we’re going to do.”

The foxsports article indicated that Thome desired a guaranteed roster spot, which might scare clubs off. If Thome is willing to sign a minor league deal with a camp invite and a good chance to make the team, then the Twins, Indians and other teams could increase their interest.

 

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